Works with the iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch.
Verbatim is known, by most, as a company that makes data storage solutions such as hard drives and memory cards. In fact, they’ve been doing just that for over four decades. What most people don’t know is that the Japan-based company also carries a selection of other accessories and peripherals. There are about a dozen different keyboards that Verbatim sells, including the Bluetooth Mobile Keyboard for iPad, iPhone, iPod touch, and other Bluetooth-enabled devices.
I have used this keyboard with my iPad 2 and will now assess it fully in this review. I will also be comparing it to a few alternatives such as the previously reviewed ZAGGmate and Sena’s Keyboard Folio. Keep reading to find out if this keyboard is a recommendable product based on its design, features, price tag, and more.
In The Box
Verbatim Bluetooth Keyboard, Two AAA Batteries, Carrying Case, Stand, and Instruction Manual
The most convenient feature about this keyboard is its folding design. When it’s in a folded state, it is very portable and lightweight; it makes a great travel accessory. The exterior of the keyboard has a glossy finish with four plastic nubs to prevent it from rubbing against the surface beneath it. It opens up from a hinged centerpiece and turns into a fully functional keyboard. There’s a built-in slider mechanism that can be used to lock the keyboard in the open position. To my preference, this has a full-size QWERTY keyboard with hard keys for typing. Softer keys, like the ones on the Sena Keyboard Folio, can become a nuisance to use when you’re typing up longer documents.
Portable, folding design
The keyboard also has function keys that are specifically designed for use with iOS; this includes a home button, volume controls, and music playback controls. There’s also a key that can be pushed that brings up the on-screen keyboard on the iOS device. There is a Bluetooth indicator light that flashes rapidly during the pairing process and flashes slowly when connected.
The keyboard once it is fully opened
There is a second indicator light that flashes when the batteries need to be replaced. The keyboard takes two AAA batteries which provide up to 80 hours of continuous usage according to Verbatim. To save battery life, you can turn the power switch to the OFF setting when you’re not using the keyboard. I prefer the ZAGGmate‘s internal battery over external batteries because the latter need to be replaced and can corrode.
Protective faux-leather carrying case that is included
The overall build quality of this keyboard isn’t too spectacular. You’ll want to be careful not to put too much pressure onto the center hinged panel, as I suspect it might snap, or bend, with even the smallest amount of force. If you’re going to be using this keyboard when traveling, I highly recommend putting it in the included faux-leather carrying case because it’ll decrease the odds of the keyboard unfolding while you’re on the move.
The keyboard takes two AAA batteries; the Panasonic batteries are included in the box
Value for Money
Verbatim’s Bluetooth Mobile Keyboard retails for $104† plus shipping on their online web store. The ZAGGmate and Sena’s genuine leather Keyboard Folio, for comparative purposes, retail for $99.99 and $149.99 respectively. The ZAGGmate includes free shipping within the lower 48 contiguous United States.
The value of this keyboard is increased by the included carrying case and stand, but it’s not quite enough to recommend it over the ZAGGmate or other alternatives. However, the portability and other features of this keyboard might be worth it to you despite its hefty price tag.
Verbatim has made a good keyboard that is hindered by some of its competition. It’s a full-size QWERTY keyboard with great battery life, but its build quality and value are both sub-par. It is certainly still a recommendable keyboard, but you should look into alternatives first before ultimately choosing this one.